Welcome everyone to UXPA! I realized when picking up my badge this afternoon at the hotel, that I have actually been to another UXPA conference, the one in Orlando Florida way back when! And when I read about the workshops today (I came in late this afternoon from Norway), I saw the name of a former colleague---Ted Boren! Hey Ted, I would love to hook up with you while at the conference!
Sara (Mastro) asked me to do some writing prior to the conference to publish on the UXPA site, and I failed miserably. I wanted to, I intended to, but days and weeks went by like a whirlwind. The whirlwind part is my weakness, I want to do too much in a timeframe that is inhumane. Sound familiar? How many of you were rushed for time to get to this conference? How many of you were irritable towards someone you love as you were rushing to get something done before leaving for this conference? How many of you forgot to pack something you wanted/needed to bring? How many of you checked, ok, double-checked, that you turned off the coffee machine (did you know they are the leading cause of fires in homes?), locked the house and set the alarm? How many of you were perfectly organized with absolutely no kinks in your planning or implementation of your planning? Why do we fail to be perfect (for those of you who are perfect, I need to have a chat with you)? Because we are human beings and not machines! In fact, no matter how much we try, we can not predict everything that happened to us today and we can not predict how one person will respond to the very same stimuli. THIS is why I love my work! I am always amazed and in awe of how different we human beings are and at the same time how very similar we all are! People motivate me in my everyday life and connecting the dots between people and behavior is what motivates me at work.
The idea that we are all the same and all different, reminds me of my favorite books: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. There are many reasons why I love this book, but the one most relevant to the topic at hand is that the story is written from the point of view of four sisters who each had a very different perception and experience of the same events. As they grow up, their perceptions and experiences form who they become, what they do and why they do it.
But before I go off on multiple tangents and end up writing all night, I want to focus on the conference and I will come back to my other thoughts later in the week.
When I agreed to speak at the conference, I decided to do what I always do, co-create. So, the keynote will be based on combining previous experiences with the knowledge and experiences I have this coming week. To make this work, I need YOU! I will be at different talks, different workshops, mingling and I would love it if you would be willing to share your thoughts on whatever you are passionate about!
So I hope we will meet, my first impressions are full of smiles. The staff at the registration desk are friendly and helpful, UXPA has come up with ways to get to know new people (did you catch the idea behind the free cupcakes---I have a WHITE ticket)! I met briefly with Sara and our Android man, Matias Duarte---who I very much look forward to listening to during the opening keynote! In the vendor hall or whatever you call that space, I ran in to Ben Logan from Spotless and his colleague---besides telling me about their services, they helped me find my way to Whole Foods in Picadilly Circus where I stocked up on coconut water and Kombucha tea (my weakness in life) as well as a very healthy brain-food dinner!
On my way back from Picadilly CircusI saw a young man taking a picture down at sidewalk level. I thought he was taking a picture of the cement, so I asked him. He showed me a lovely picture he took of the London Eye which I copied.
So, now I am set to go: UXPA 2014 with my favourite topic of MOTIVATION---bring it on!